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Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
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PROS

Fuel-efficient engines, saloon looks with hatchback practicality, largest boot in sector

CONS

Sport mouldings needed to brighten the exterior are costly optional extras

Verdict

The Skoda Rapid is aimed at family motorists looking for a quality car at an affordable price. The company claims that the Rapid includes clever solutions and cutting-edge technology. It is also the first in the line of new models to come with the manufacturer’s latest design language. The Skoda Rapid will sit between the smaller Fabia and Octavia so it launches into the fiercely competitive medium family car sector. Unlike the current popular sellers such as the Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, however, the Rapid looks like a saloon not like a hatchback. It comes with a large hatchback-style tailgate, and is designed to carry five people and their luggage in comfort despite its compact dimensions.

Clever technology

Skoda claims that the Rapid will come with a number of clever solutions though there are no details yet. Even though the Rapid’s calling card will be practicality it won’t come with the dual-boot system that’s in the Skoda Superb. The Superb’s boot can open like a saloon or provide a much wider aperture with a large hatchback boot lid arrangement. The Czech company is promising comprehensive safety equipment so expect a full complement of airbags as well as a raft of pro-active safety systems such as electronic brake force distribution, anti-skid brakes and electronic stability programme. It’s also likely that the ‘City Safe Drive’ as first featured on the company’s Citigo model will be offered. The system can automatically brake the car to a standstill from a maximum speed of 19mph if it detects a collision is unavoidable, without the driver needing to do anything.

Choice of engines

The Skoda Rapid has two petrol engines and one diesel engine with a total of seven power variants to choose from. These are likely to come from the existing line-up of Skoda engines including the 1.2-litre TSi petrol as well as 1.6-litre diesel. The split between retail and fleet is likely to be 60% in favour of retail so our pick would be the 88bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine in SE trim level and mated to the five-speed manual gearbox. It has a claimed combined economy of 67.2 and is the most frugal unit in the range. So can the new Rapid take on the heavyweights in this sector? Read the full Skoda Rapid review to find out.

What owners say about this car

Certainly NOT the internal storage space, as this is very poor. The boot is massive for a medium... Read owner review

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